Liverpool have a very important transfer window ahead of them, where the focus for many will be which names they can bring in to bolster the squad, with the intention of challenging nearer the top of the Premier League. However, almost just as high on Jurgen Klopp’s agenda will be which of his current crop of players should he keep at Anfield, and who should he look to move on. Over the following pages, three Liverpool veterans’ potential futures will be examined, and the relative merits of retaining their services or not.
Once the rock at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, forever displaying the desire and lack of care for his own well-being that would endear anyone to the Anfield faithful, Martin Skrtel has now fallen from grace at a startling rate and finds himself way down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp. The main reason for this has been an almost indefensible volume of individual errors that have cost Liverpool goals and certainly was of no assistance to Simon Mignolet’s confidence. The Slovakian is now firmly behind the 35-year-old Kolo Touré in Klopp’s thinking, and has not been able to seize any opportunity thrown his way after returning from injury in 2016.
Martin Skrtel issued what appeared to be a sorrowful farewell wave to the travelling supporters after Liverpool’s final domestic match of the season. Although nothing has been officially announced, all signs do tend to point to the departure of their defensive hard-man in the summer, especially considering the inevitably high wages that Skrtel will be commanding, given his senior nature within the squad.
Jurgen Klopp was swift to snap up Joel Matip in January on a free transfer, and completing this astute piece of business for the promising Schalke centre-half showed his early intentions to freshen up the position at Liverpool. The towering Cameroon international will bring plenty of what The Reds currently lack in this role and with it, arguably spelled out the demise of Martin Skrtel.
Furthermore, Dejan Lovren is a rejuvenated figure these days; looking much more like the player the Merseysiders believed they had signed from Southampton, and Mamadou Sakho was cementing his cult hero status before disciplinary issues made his selection impossible. Operating under the assumption that the Frenchman still has a long-term future at Anfield following the resolution of his potential doping infringement, Martin Skrtel’s route back into the first-team picture seems littered with road blocks that would require a dramatic change of circumstances in order to be overcome. Bar a complete U-turn, expect to see the Slovakian leave the north west in the summer, but he can hold his head up high after many years of devoted service to the club.